Charlie Brown Iron-on Transfer Paper Shirt

One of my cousins is a Charlie Brown nut. I think he has every line in the Christmas and Great Pumpkin specials memorized. So this year for Christmas, we wanted to give him a shirt from one of the Charlie Brown specials, but store-bought shirts can be so generic. We decided to have a bit more fun and customize one with iron-on transfer paper.

Iron-on transfer paper is one of the coolest things they ever invented in the craft department. It’s so versatile; it can be used on clothes, bags, quilts; pretty much anything made of some type of fabric. It’s easy to use and 100% washable. A little imagination and a half-way decent printer and the possibilities are endless.

First we searched the Internet for screen captures from Merry Christmas Charlie Brown (in particular searching for the “five good reasons” scene). After locating suitable images, we altered them in paint to add the word bubbles, then we printed the two images on a sheet of iron-on transfer paper.

The most important thing to remember with iron-on transfer paper, especially when there are words involved, is that the finished item will have a mirror image of what you see on your computer, so flip the image backwards before printing it onto the paper. (I forgot to print the image backward the first time I used this stuff, but fortunately realized the mistake before I actually ironed it on or my letters would have ended up backward!)

To transfer the image to fabric, place the fabric on a hard surface (not a cushy ironing board) and using dry heat, continuously move the iron around the sheet in circular motions for about one minute total, giving particular attention to the edges. Then you can immediately peel off the paper backing, or if you want a glossy finish, wait until it has cooled before removing the backing.

The transfer area of the fabric usually stiff at first, but after a few washings, it softens up.

Close up of images


Full Shirt

T-shirt Dress

I had a bag of extra t-shirts lying around, so I had either the option to cut them up and make a rug for my bedroom floor or try out a dress idea I had. I went with the dress idea, but as often happens, I gave away the finished product before taking a picture, so you’ll just have to use your imagination for this one.

Most kids have a T-shirt or two that they don’t wear very often. These unused garments can be put to good use in this project. To begin this dress all you need is a simple T-shirt, a piece of material around 2 yards long and one inch wider than the desired height of skirt. Any type of light material such as calico or homespun will do nicely. Choose a well fitting T-shirt, not skin tight, but not too loose and baggy either. (As an alternative for weather changes, a long-sleeved T-shirt or a turtleneck could be used in colder months, and a tank top can be used for hotter summer months.)

The T-shirt makes up the top portion of the dress, all you will have to do is make and attach the skirt. To form the skirt, sew the two ends of the fabric together. Next you will need to make box pleats along one of the edges (don’t cut the bias off the top edge, it will keep it from unraveling as you pleat it). Run a set of stitches through the edge of the skirt, about an inch from the top. Each stitch should be about an inch wide, with an inch in between each stitch. This is best done by hand. Next run a second row of stitches exactly like the first row, an inch below the first one. Do not tie off the thread ends on either row.

Pull the ends of the thread on both rows tight, creating gathers in the fabric. Pull them up until the pleated opening is the same width as the bottom of the T-shirt. Turn the skirt inside out. Turn the T-shirt upside down, but leave it right side out. Slip it inside the skirt so that the bottom of the shirt is touching the top of the skirt. Sew the skirt to the shirt.

Turn the entire project right side out. The skirt and T-shirt should now be fully connected forming a complete dress. Hem the bottom of the skirt to finish the garment.

The fabric chosen for the skirt can make this dress fit into any season depending on the pattern. Calicoes can be good for any time of the year. Floral patterns hearken to the warm, sunny days of spring and summer. Brightly colored fall leaves or pumpkin pattern fabrics would make cute autumn or Halloween dresses. And fabrics that include poinsettia flowers or evergreen trees would work well for the winter months and holidays. The possibilities are practically limitless.